Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Marilyn Maye promoted her concert at the Gem Theater on a morning television program.

*KC Jazz Lark ponders the contribution of a forgotten hero of Kansas City jazz.

*The Pitch recommends a brunch featuring the music of Roger Wilder.

*The Jazz Ambassadors are holding a "retirement party and mixer" for Roger Atkinson, the longtime editor of the organization's magazine, at BB's Lawnside BBQ from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m on June 14.  Millie Edwards will be among the performers.  The suggested donation/cover charge is $5.

*Randy Brecker is among Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Rolling Stones- RT @SeamusMcRock Charlie, which Stones song would you like to have heard Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington cover? (Charlie Watts’ video response)

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Album Review: Addison Frei- Intentions

Joey Alexander, an 11-year-old from Bali, has already garnered more media attention this year than most jazz musicians will receive in a lifetime.  While I’m impressed by his debut album, I don’t intend to listen to it again. 

Intentions, the debut album by Addison Frei, was released in 2014 to deafening silence.  As far as I can tell, the recording received a solitary capsule review.  No one has even bothered to leave a comment about Intentions at Amazon or iTunes

Not only is Intentions as technically accomplished as Alexander’s album, Frei’s work is far more interesting.  A jazz trio album supplemented by a vocalist on two tracks and saxophonist on a third, Intentions reveals Frei’s considerable promise.

The one-time resident of Lawrence, Kansas, is an imaginative composer.  Intentions also includes interpretations of material ranging from Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 to “Home on the Range.”

Frei and Alexander have absorbed the work of Brad Mehldau, but the former Kansas City area resident Eldar Djangirov may provide a more relevant comparison.  Like Eldar, Frei plays a lot of notes.  And like the former child prodigy and media sensation Eldar, Alexander is likely to learn that the audience for adult jazz pianists is comparatively small.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Now's the Time: Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox have a profitable schtick.  The group specializes in performing contemporary hits in vintage styles.  The musicians do unnatural things to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” in the embedded clip.  The ensemble performs at Crossroads KC on Tuesday, June 2.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The American Jazz Museum has unveiled the lineup for the 2015-16 season of Jammin’ at the Gem.

*Here’s a preview of ”Alright Now!”, the latest 7” single by Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7.

*Joe Klopus’ new column highlights Marilyn Maye’s forthcoming concert at the Gem Theater.  The Pitch also recommends her appearance.

*Michael Shults created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the recording of his first solo album.

*Here’s another analysis of the status of Kansas City’s Jazz District.

*Peter Erskine and Joey Calderazzo are among Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Katie Crawford- It makes sense if you don't think about it. (@ Mutual Musicians Foundation)

*Comment o’ the Week: Cb- Thanks for the review and thanks for coming to the performance. Dino really enjoyed Kansas City, even during his short stay (Wednesday - Sunday). We had a very nice turnout of listeners at both, Take Five (Matt Leifer on drums) and the Blue Room (Michael Warren on drums). The bar manager, Andre Tyler, told me that we had 102 paid admissions to the Blue Room. Wow! The "Jazz Beat" preview was great too!

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Concert Review: Avishai Cohen's Triveni at Take Five Coffee + Bar

Among the more than 100 people who purchased $20 advance tickets or paid $25 at the door to hear a performance by Avishai Cohen’s Triveni at Take Five Coffee + Bar last Thursday were a couple dozen faces I’d never seen. 

Most of the strangers looked as if they’d be more comfortable listening to Benny Goodman than the adventurous Israeli trumpeter.  Yet not one of them left at the conclusion of the 45-minute opening set.

Cohen, bassist Tal Mashiach and drummer Nasheet Waits seduced them with the boiling frog technique.

The trio opened with a serene reading of Don Cherry’s “Art Deco.”  They gradually turned up the heat with a version of John Coltrane’s “Wise One” and “One Man’s Idea,” Cohen’s tribute to Ornette Coleman.  The rapt audience had been fully acclimated by the time Triveni burst into free jazz.

Mashiach, a substitute for Eric Revis, held his own.  Waits, one of the world’s most enthralling drummers, made every moment matter.  Cohen’s understated playing kept the music aloft. 

The daring but never impenetrable second set included an interpretation of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and concluded with a take on the Kansas City classic “Shiny Stockings.”

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Now's the Time: Tony Tixier

The French pianist Tony Tixier is returning to Kansas City next week for a handful of gigs.  He’ll perform at the Majestic on Wednesday, at the American on Friday, at the Art Factory on Saturday and with Diverse at Sunday's Celebration at the Station.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Pitch reports that big changes are afoot at the Broadway Jazz Club.

*Gerald Dunn gives fascinating responses in a question-and-answer session with The Pitch.

*KC Jazz Lark provides context to recent developments on Kansas City’s jazz scene.

*Joe Klopus spoke to Avishai Cohen in advance of the trumpeter’s appearance at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Thursday.  The Pitch also recommends the show.

*Julian Vaughn was featured on KCUR’s Local Listen segment. 

*The new opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird opens in Philadelphia on June 5.

*Tweet o’ the Week: negroleauguesmuseum- At @julianvaughn CD release party at the Gem Theater. His new project is called "Limitless & it's outstanding!

*Comment o’ the Week: Cb- HIB - Thanks for covering the jazz scene at (those of us who love the music don't say it enough) and for posting the link about the kind Jazz Beat feature by Larry Kopitnik in The Pitch! Dino has been here since Wednesday (May 6) and really loves Kansas City. We are looking forward to performing at the Blue Room on Friday May 8 and at Take Five on Saturday May 9. However, for some odd reason, I could not find any trace of Joe Klopus' column "Jazz Town" in The Star online. Best, Cb

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)